I have always imagined Britain to be this gloomy Fuck hole of a place where everyone drinks warm beer and sleeps with ugly women because that is what they have. Then I heard the music of Hourglass Sea, and Fuck all to hell with a 7 inch dildo made of stain glass from the Vatican. I was forced to reevaluate my stance on this island nation, an island I thought was once uninhabitable is obviously a Tropical paradise filled with all sorts of colourful characters with colourful shirts and Dominican lady friends whose ample hind quarters they do copious amounts of cocaine off of.
I mean how else would you explain the wonder of Hourglass Sea and his amazing EP Return To The Crematorium.
It sounds the way you imagine Al Pacino making dirty immigrant love to Michelle Pheifer in Scarface would feel. All victorious and gritty. It is like the musical embodiment of every poster I had in the 80s, fast cars, buxom blond chicks and for some reason Michael Jordon hanging out with Mars Blackmon.
Hourglass Sea is about as British as I am Malaysian bro.
Without further adieu our interview with Hourglass Sea:
SYFFAL: Our readers are mostly comprised of perverts who use library computers and lonely mothers who miss their day jobs. For some reason they have turned to us as their go to source for new music. So help us help them by answering the following: Who the Fuck are you?
Hourglass Sea (HS): Dean Michael Bentley the 1st, AKA Hourglass Sea, originally from Lidget Green - BD7, Bradford, Yorkshire, GB.
SYFFAL: Sounds like the New Jersey of the UK. How would you describe your genre of music?
HS: shit..I don't know. I tend not to bother with names, terms etc. I love a lot of dance/electronic/R&B & hiphop from the 80s to the late 90s.
I'm inspired by varying tempos, moods, emotions and sounds. I'm unsure if there's a name for that, but I think one of the great things about music in the 21st century is that producers are confident enough to be unperturbed from genre/style confinement. Generally speaking that would never have happened in the 90s, though a few acts were slowly pushing the boundaries - notably for me - The Prodigy, (Liam Howlett is a God), Massive Attack and Aphex Twin.
SYFFAL: Ok, I am going to put down goth rave then. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being Ronald Reagan and 10 being Crocodile Dundee, just how British are you?
HS: Crocodile Dundee haha...I'm going to say 10. I'm George Orwell British, crumpets & tea British, Horatio Nelson British. Or at least that's how I'd like to view myself. The reality is more Northern and mundane. If you'd really like to know how British I am, watch a late 60s movie called 'Kes'...and if you need help with language translation do not hesitate to request my assistance.
SYFFAL: So we are talking inbred King British then? Your album makes me wish I went into the cocaine business, but sadly I was born in a NYC suburb and the only drugs we had was holding our breath until we passed out. Is this what you are hoping to get across when you make music? If not what are you hoping to achieve?
HS: Haha....thank you. I think if you can picture movie scenes combined with emotions from listening to my music that's probably the best compliment I could hope to receive. I try to create tracks that contain emotion...especially if they can force you to conjure up an image or memory of some kind.
That might sound a bit corny I suppose. Movie score composers such as Bernard Herrmann inspire me.
I've never mentioned this before but one of my other tracks, La Concorde, was partly inspired by Pirates Of The Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest..haha...make of that what you will. And the name comes from Blackbeard's ship, which he eventually re-named Queen Anne's Revenge.
SYFFAL: So you are a piratephile then? Creepy. In our review of Return To The Crematorium I said "The thing sounds the way I imagine Kanye West's dreams sound if they were being remixed by Polow Da Don, in other words like it has a gigantic member that wears Members Only jackets for condoms and red Gucci Loafers on the nuts." Is that accurate?
SYFFAL: Who are your primary influences?
HS: shit...let me think about this. Slash, Just Blaze, The Alchemist, Jay Dee, Quincy Jones, Liam Howlett, Andy Vowels...
SYFFAL: And are you offended that I would match red Gucci loafers and a Members Only jacket?
HS: How can anybody be offended by that...it's a compliment I'll never forget.
SYFFAL: You are a man of style and substance. Your music has a very Miami feel to it, yet it is from some bubbleFuck town in the UK, so let's play a game called Stereotype for Stereotype. I will give you a stereotype about British People and you give me one about people from Florida (if you know nothing about Florida, just imagine a state filled with poorer, less educated versions of Irish travelers that some how get to decide the direction of our country every 4 years)
SYFFAL: Brits: Your teeth are fucked?
HS: Floridians: You have crocodiles as pets?
SYFFAL: Brits: You boil all of your meat?
HS: Floridians: You're all retirees?
SYFFAL: Brits: It rains non-stop?
HS: Floridians: All you houses look the same?
SYFFAL: Brits: Your women do not have actual vaginas?
HS: Floridians: Everybody is right wing and considers Rush Limbaugh to be a role model?
SYFFAL: Brits: Your parents are more often than not related?
HS: Floridians: Your parents are related? (Especially if you live close to the Everglades)
SYFFAL: Brits: Your whole country is Bi?
HS: Floridians: Everybody grows oranges?
SYFFAL: Brits: Your royal family is part android?
HS: Floridians: Most of you work at Disney World?
SYFFAL: Your music sounds like you have a 40 piece band playing with you, but I am under the impression that you are a one man band kind of deal. So if you could create a super group to play your music who would play the following: Vocals
HS: Peter Steele
HS: Jimmy Chamberlin
HS: Marcus Miller
HS: Duke Ellington
SYFFAL: Back up dancer
HS: Leroy (The Prodigy)
SYFFAL: Coke mule
HS: Shaun Ryder
SYFFAL: Manager who steals all your money
SYFFAL: Girlfriend of the weak-willed band member that eventually gasses him and causes the band to split
HS: Damn...that's a tough one. Scarlett Johansson.
SYFFAL: I met Joel, my partner in all things SYFFAL, at the 1998 Comic-Con, he was dressed like Princess Leia when she was Jabba's sex slave and I was dressed like Andrew Dice Clay (I was confused about what Comic-Con was about). Anyway we got kicked out of the Ghost World panel for tugging it to the chubby one with glasses. While sitting outside the Civic Center waiting for our moms to pick us up and look at us with disappointment we got to talking. We discussed a bevy of shit, but it wasn't until we talked music that we realized we had something special. Right then and there we agreed to start SYFFAL. 10 years later our dream came true. How did you get your start when did you realize you had something special?
HS: I started out playing drums when I was 9 and guitar from 13. I used to visit a teacher who is the best musician my City's ever had, called Pete Laffan.
He taught me a lot which wasn't always guitar related. Anyway, I eventually got bored of trying to come up with crappier versions of Entombed style riffs and decided to start making hip hop. I bought my first MPC 2000XL when I was about 19-20. Over time I got bored with concentrating on a regimented tempo pattern and I never listened to hip hop exclusively, so it seemed natural to explore. I think in my earlier days I was lacking confidence which over time grew - and I never had the idea of leaving anything behind. I wanted to expand on what I already had.
SYFFAL: So your label, Chill Mega Chill, do they only sign artists with Miami Vice themed artwork? also what is the best thing about working with them?
HS: They do have great artwork don't they. Their stickers are crazy too.
CMC approached me about doing a small cassette run which led to RtTC. They did a brilliant job with the whole thing. Those guys are passionate about underground electronic music, as well as offering a nod to 80s and 90s nostalgia and design. The fact their emphasis is largely on cassette's was a big sell.
I'm really happy with that EP. Big shouts to those guys.
SYFFAL: Speaking of our site, we started out as a small group of friends that liked to share the music we love by giving them racial or ethnic identities based solely on their sound. In this spirit, who are three new artists, other than yourself, that we should be checking for and would you define these artists as Irish, Dominican or Anal?
Bobby Tank, he's from London. Makes big tracks via the MofoHifi label and is one talented cat.
Check out Pixelord from Russia. I recently remixed his track Imaginary Friends.
And Alizzz - a kid from Barcelona. His new EP's tight.
Define them? Dominican. All
SYFFAL: So Return to the Crematorium is a killer EP, but if I have learned anything about EPs it is that they are either an elaborate game of just the tip, or a collection of songs by someone who couldnt make an album, so which is it? Is their a full length on the way, and if so what can we expect? or are you just lazy?
HS: Thank you for the kid words. Glad you enjoyed it. I have mixtape releasing coming out for the summer.
I'm hoping RtTC will offer an idea of what's to come for the future. I didn't want to bloat the cassette for the sake of it. Nas Illmatic only has 10 tracks, yet it's arguably the most celebrated and memorable album in hip hop history. I'm of the less is more mentality in that respect.
SYFFAL: Please promote anything you would like to promote.
HS: Just want to say thank you to SYFFAL for the kind words and review and that I'm finishing off the self titled debut album. It's gonna be self released - probably July/Aug time. It will feature three of the songs from RiTC with another 12 new songs.
SYFFAL: You're Welcome.